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The international specialization pattern of the Italian local economic systems: Concentration or diversification?


  • Alessia Amighini
  • Marinella Leone
  • Roberta Rabellotti

    () (SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont)


We study the evolution of specialization patterns of the Italian provinces over 1995-2005 by analyzing the dynamics of the sectoral distribution of the Balassa index of revealed comparative advantages for several manufacturing sectors. Our results show that behind a relatively stable distribution of national comparative advantages over time, there are wide variations in local performances: only a few provinces strengthened their specialization patterns over the last decade, while the majority of them slightly weakened their specialization patterns. We also find a higher average degree of persistence for district provinces, but no systematic differences between provinces with and without industrial districts. We find a variety of behaviour for provinces with industrial districts in the footwear, textiles and clothing and machinery industries: a few of them are concentrating on their past comparative strengths, while many others are changing their specialization patterns.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessia Amighini & Marinella Leone & Roberta Rabellotti, 2007. "The international specialization pattern of the Italian local economic systems: Concentration or diversification?," Working Papers 116, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
  • Handle: RePEc:upo:upopwp:116

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    trade specialization; Balassa comparative advantage; Italian provinces;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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